29/06/2015

Summer Book Review: TechBitch by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza





MY SYNOPSIS
Imagine This: You’ve taken a ‘sabbatical’—which everyone in fashion knows is a term used when you’re recovering from going under a blade—from your job as Editor-In-Chief of one of the most popular fashion magazines. Only to come back to work to find your assistant twirling around in your office chair—in clothes that do not look like they are from the supply closet.

Turns out, she’s fired all your editors, replaced them with twenty-somethings who do not acknowledge your presence when you walk into the conference room because they are too busy on their phones, she’s banging on about organic traffic, referral traffic and other kinds of traffic you have no idea about. And most importantly, she’s turning your magazine into an app. An idea you’d later find out your publishing executive is on board with.

As Editor-in-Chief of your magazine (now becoming an app), it’s obvious you are supposed to call the shots. But what do you do when you have no idea about tech stuff, when you used to have your assistant print out your all emails, when you’ve updated your status on Facebook three times since you created it (a long time ago).
It’s no news your assistant, now Editorial Director, wants to prove you redundant enough to get you to lose your job. But you wouldn’t let that happen. Not if you could tell the difference between an instagram and a tweet before your magazine turns into an app.

But watch out, your assistant wouldn’t wait around for you to catch up. No. Not if she has anything to do with it.

Imogen Tate’s life summed up for your delight.

MY REVIEW
Go buy this book before I can afford a Louboutin in time to hurl one at you! I loved, loved this book!

Fantastic storyline! Woman survives breast cancer only to come back to work battling a force that might be so powerful than cancer: a back-stabbing assistant. Woman tries all she can to get with the times or find herself with no job in the cutthroat world of fashion. Woman needs to stand her assistant who has now become a version of Anna Wintour with everyone in the office tiptoeing around her. Beautiful! A star to the storyline.── ★

It’s so nice when a book transcends the vision a reader has for it! This was more than a book about fashion, to my surprise! It’s more of the handbook every woman in business must own to stay on top of things. It talks about a new age where twenty-somethings (like me!) are getting all the jobs at high places because they have all the knowledge about using technology to boost sales and you, like our main character, might be trying to wrap your head around Facebook only to find out now everyone is popularizing a new app called ‘Instagram’ more. Mothers dealing with the negative effects of technology on their children! So much more lessons for the contemporary woman! You can be sure this book is a book of the times and would never be irrelevant for thousands of years to come. Consider it a classic! A star!── ★★

You would love the main character Imogen. An epitome of class and style! You’d expect her to eat off her assistant’s head right when the latter is being a bitch, but she handles it with a dismissive nonchalant manner that makes her assistant more pissed off. Like I am calling this woman an old mare that has to be put out to pasture, why isn’t she reacting?! She’s not your stereotypical fashion bitchy boss—she listens(!), she’s the mother who’s always sneaking out of the office in time to go read her children to sleep. I loved her!── ★★★

Other characters made this book fab! There’s Eve, the assistant now Editorial Director who is such a bitch you’d find yourself plotting Imogen’s revenge and asking yourself why they hell isn’t Imogen taking your advice to end her. There’s Alex, Imogen’s adorable husband who’s so supportive and kind of the husband you ladies would dream of having if you have high-powered jobs—one who works like crazy and finds time for his family like crazy. There’s Annabel, Imogen’s adorable daughter who’s a Youtube sensation in some circles and posts videos of herself making smoothies—aww! There’s Rashid, the multi-million tech geek who’s Imogen’s go-to person for anything she doesn’t understand in tech. There’s Addison Cao the fashion journalist who always wants to get scoop of something juicy. There’s so much characters yoi wouldn’t find redundant including real-life stars making appearances. A star!── ★★★★

Reading this book is like watching a candle dissolve into wax (do I even get my analogies??), you do it slowly because you are scared it would end leaving you with the worst book hangover (not that watching candle wax could gives you any hangover). You are so enamoured by the world of fashion and its (the book’s) setting you are in no rush to finish it. You can trust that if I wasn’t a book blogger I would have read it a page a day! A star.── ★★★★★

My rating: I could give this book eighty-eight out of five stars (88/5) if my math teacher wouldn’t come clubbing me to death.

TechBitch by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza is available on amazon! Go get it! These kind of books come out a few times in a millennium—revolutionary books that would be made into movies five years (or sooner!) later. I wouldn’t be surprised if this book is the next biggest fashion motion picture since The Devil Wears Prada.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves their chick-lit oh-so-true! Anyone who wants a book that fits with the times! Anyone who wants a book they could do over and over again—like when we book geeks say ‘I read  that book like five times and I still love it!’. Anyone who wants a chick-lit title that’s two words made into one… fan-frigging-tastic!

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads and (shitty) amazon (that would make me edit a chunk of this review! L)


25/06/2015

Blog Tour: The Other Child By Lucy Atkins

We are celebrating the release of one of my favorite Lucy's new book! Lucy Atkins, whose debut, The Missing One was thoroughly enjoyed by me, is up on our blog discussing her reading life! Find out her book obsession growing up!

My reading life

Ok, so here’s a list of classic books that I did not read as a child:

- Wind in the Willows - Secret Garden - The Hobbit - Anne of Green Gables - Alice in wonderland - The Railway Children - Any of the Famous Five books…

I could go on….It wasn’t that I came from a home of non-readers. My parents are book lovers, and our house was stuffed with books. I didn’t read these books because I was mad about horses, and so from the age of about 6 to 14 I read nothing but Pony books. I can still recite the opening lines of my favourite, Rebel Pony.

My mother was a lexicographer (she wrote the Collins Robert English-French dictionary) and she would come back from book fairs with bags stuffed full of small, hardback pony books that she got for 20p each. I read and re-read those books. My mother sometimes put a different book on my bedside table, but I generally ignored it, and she never made me feel this was wrong. She never pressurized me that I ‘should’ be reading a certain kind of book. She simply enabled my love of pony books. As a result, I came to see all books as magical – feeding my imagination, my dreams, my passion.

I did move on from pony books as a teenager, to novels by Thomas Hardy, DH Lawrence, The Brontes. I didn’t find this a leap because I trusted books to let me in – I wasn’t intimidated by them, because I’d learned that books were my friends. Reading through childhood and adolescence opened up new chambers in my mind. It expanded my vocabulary, it taught me about the world, it introduced me to feelings and concepts I had not yet experienced. But above all, it made me a writer.

I wrote and illustrated my first ‘novella’ – you guessed it, a pony book! – when I was nine years old. My mother laminated it and I still have it. It felt entirely natural to me to write as well as to read. I never thought about it, or questioned it. The two activities seemed like part of the same whole.

I’ve now read those children’s classics out loud to my own three children, who have loved them, but I’ll always be grateful to the pony books of my childhood: they were the greatest gift.

Learn more about Lucy’s books at www.lucyatkins.com Follow lucy on Twitter @lucyatkins. Or Facebook: Lucy Atkins Writer.

Find out more about The Other Child.

Blurb: Sometimes a lie seems kinder than the truth ... but what happens when that lie destroys everything you love?

When Tess is sent to photograph Greg, a high profile paediatric heart surgeon, she sees something troubled in his face, and feels instantly drawn to him. Their relationship quickly deepens, but then Tess, single mother to nine-year-old Joe, falls pregnant, and Greg is offered the job of a lifetime back in his hometown of Boston. Before she knows it, Tess is married, and relocating to the States. But life in an affluent American suburb proves anything but straightforward.

Unsettling things keep happening in the large rented house. Joe is distressed, the next-door neighbours are in crisis, and Tess is sure that someone is watching her. Greg's work is all-consuming and, as the baby's birth looms, he grows more and more unreachable. Something is very wrong, Tess knows it, and then she makes a Jaw-dropping discovery...

Reviews: 'Truly unnerving. The neck-prickling suspense starts on the very first page, building and building until I wanted to get in the car and drive to Boston to rescue Tess and Joe myself. Atkins perfectly captures the vulnerability that comes with moving overseas, away from friends and support networks, and uses it expertly in this compelling novel. Not just one-more-page gripping but perceptive and beautifully written' Lucie Whitehouse, author of Before We Met.

'Taut, tense, and beautifully written. I held my breath between chapters and didn't sleep until I reached the end' Clare Mackintosh, author of I Let You Go.

'Tense, involving and clever. I defy you not to get hooked' Jane Lythell, author of After the Storm.

Purchase| Goodreads| Quercus.

24/06/2015

Summer Book Review: The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson






MY SYNOPSIS

Imagine This: You are the best masseuse the Massage Industry(??) could ever get. Except lately, you’ve been so tired. It’s really not easy relieving people of the toughest kinks that ever existed. As if that is all, you are running all over London because of financial problems massaging in rented rooms all over the place. You really have no time for yourself.

Your friends keep telling you, you need a boyfriend, you need to get laid, what has it been like thirty-years since you ever had sex? Pressure is mounted on you at every angle. And you really could do with some massage yourself.

Then a Knight In Shining Armour walks into your life. (Only he’s not in real Armour, but I’ve always hated when people exchange a classic phrase for one that has ‘Armani’ in it!)

Anyway, he’s the guy of your dreams. He’s all you’ve ever dreamt of and more. He’s rich, he’s changing every part of your professional life. You two have the best chemistry, he’s making all those thirty years of waiting worth it.

But of late, you are worrying he’s been cheating. And let’s face it, you are a tad too possessive thanks to a childhood event that marred your life. What’s more annoying, your friends find something iffy about him too.

You need help! You need real help! But your one best friend has disappeared from the face of the earth? Where is Kate? And why isn’t she here to help you out of this dilemma?

Except Kate has a secret too. And she’s running away.

Annie Mulholland’s mysterious, romantic love-life summarised for your delight.

MY REVIEW

Oh, no! Do not read this book! Do not read this book if you cannot stand the MOTHER of OMG MOMENTS! I’d say this outright before I start this review! You would never see the twist and hits you like, um, a punch! Boom! And you are so surprised an author could ever have that effect on you. Obviously this title is finding its way into my Greatest Chick-Lit OMG Moments list! Fantastic! A star to OMG-moments.── ★

I loved, loved the storyline. Kate is running away! But what from? Annie is running away! But why can’t she make up her mind and just leave already! So beautiful. Kate’s storyline laden with secrets is so fascinating than Annie’s I must admit. Plus the fast-developing romantic interests in Annie’s life than Katie’s make this book all-so-worth reading! Fabulous storyline. A star!── ★★

You would love the two main characters. This book is told in first-person perspective of two different characters. Kate and Annie. You would love Annie for being… a great masseuse, for being, um, other things I am not sure I can admire of her: soft, needing guidance. But you’d definitely fall for her for following her heart! And the amazing OMG moment she pulls at the end which would get you rooting for more for her than you would Kate. OK, so let’s face it, it’s really hard not to take sides in this book. So Kate is my favourite! She’s funny, she’s daring, she’s IRISH!!! What’s not to love? And escaping to an eventing farm where she has no idea about horses? It’s just plain lovable and room for lots of comic scenes! A star!── ★★★

You would also adore other characters! There’s Becca, the bullshit-talking groom (of horses) in Kate’s life who’s teaching her to get the grips of horse-life in order to keep her job and stay in hiding at the farm. There’s Joe, the man-ho groom (also of horses) who’s just so funny and horny you can’t help but adore! There’s Mark, the brooding owner of the eventing company and Olympic star who is so good at pushing everyone away… but not so with the (persistent) Kate. There’s Claudine a friend of Anna’s who’s French, and well, hard. There’s Lizzie, the sister juggling loads of boyfriends. There’s Tim, the shrink who’s rumoured to secretly have the hots for Annie. There’s also Stephen the boyfriend who would be really much adored. So much other characters I loved I cannot make the review lengthy by mentioning. But really, you would find none of them redundant. A star!── ★★★★

There’s really lots of humour in this book. You’d laugh a lot. Suspense as well. Hell, suspense for most part of it. I really still cannot get the whole reason this author would just make me lose grips on my power to predict how a novel would turn out. God, the writing is so light and airy, you do not see the OMG-moment really coming at all! I still have nightmares of this author forcefully pulling the rag from under my feet and making me second-guess my ability to tell a book to the end after reading the first fifty pages (sometimes ten, sometimes five or just by reading the blurb). This shows if you are a reader who wants to put a finger on this book from the start, you’d be badly misled by your (poor) prediction ability.── ★★★★★

MY rating is definitely a six out of five stars! (6/5 stars!)

Lucy Robison’s amazing latest is available on amazon! Go grab it!

I recommend this book for anyone who loves their chick-lit romantic! Anyone who loves their chick-lit suspenseful! Anyone who wants something that would make them stay glued to the sun-lounger for hours! Anyone who simply loves Lucy Robinson should go get this book as she really never disappoints in this title as well!

My work not done here! Off to post my review on Goodreads as well as (shitty) 
Amazon (who would make me cut a chunk of this review!)




22/06/2015

Summer Book Review: The Vintage Guide To Love and Romance by Kirsty Greenwoood





MY SYNOPSIS

Imagine This: Your life has been teetering from one party to another, one tequila shot to another. And off late, you are finding it hard to show up at work in clean clothes and without a hangover. This means, not even your boss can yell at you.

So when you are given the boot by your friend-boss for being ‘less serious in life’, you have nowhere and no one to turn to except for your long-enstranged grandmother.

Your grandmother was quite a famous personality in the mid-twentieth century, charming the whole of London and New York bachelors and being the toast of all functions with her Good Woman Guides that teach women ways to hook a Good Bloke. But these days, your grandmother is kinda broke, even though she’d die before she admits it, and she is relying on reprinting her Good Woman Guides to be able to fend off the bailiffs.

Except the publishers have other plans. They think your gran’s Good Woman Guides happened in the fifties and should stay in the fifties as there’s no modern woman who would hook a man using the ways suggested in her guides.

But your grandmother is resilient, and using you, a modern girl at heart who’s anything but a Good Woman as an experiment to prove whoever uses her guides would end up hooking the bachelor of their dreams.

And your grandmother isn’t helping picking the man of a lot of girls’ dreams and your nightmares, as target of this project.

Jessica Beam’s adventure to prove her grandmother’s Good Woman Guides should be stacked in a corner gathering dust, summarised for your delight.


MY REVIEW

This book was good.

I loved the storyline. It was downright funky. Something you except a classic chick-lit title to entail. Girl loses the best thing in life, her mum, and numbs her pain with parties and casual one-night stands—fab! Girl gets sacked out of her job and bounces back to her grandmother who’s suddenly on a mission to groom her into being the Good Woman—fab! A star to the storyline.── ★

You would love the main character, Jess. Very juvenile at the beginning, if you’d ask me. But her change throughout the novel and her maturity is stunning. She develops from a character you’d wrinkle your nose at from the start, to a character that you could understand and—if not relate to—enjoy reading about. A star to her.── ★★

Other characters make this read lovely as well. There is the Granny, who begins every chapter dropping quotes from her Good Woman Guide you’d mostly always nod in agreement to. There’s Peach, the housekeeper for granny who’s shy and hasn’t ever had sex despite pushing towards thirty. There’s Summer, the jealous bitchy friend you’d hate so much. There’s Leo Frost, the demigod every female seems to have the hots for except our lead who finds him too much of a man-ho and arrogant. There’s one doctor down Granny’s apartment building who functions as a shoulder to cry on, and a shoulder to throw your leg over for a good fuck. A star to all these characters!── ★★★

There’s so much humour in this book you can’t help but keep rubbing your hind head in pain for throwing it back against the wooden head rest of your chair for a good laugh!── ★★★★

I really wished I loved, loved, this book. I wish it wasn’t that predictable. But either way, it was a good read. Not the kind you’d throw out your window and regret buying because it is too predictable you couldn’t take it anymore.

My rating: Four/Five stars (4/5 stars).

Kirsty Greenwood’s The Vintage Guide To Love and Romance is available on amazon.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants something light and quick and enjoying this summer. Anyone who loves their chick-lit laden with character makeovers should pick this. Any woman who wants something that could be a modern-take on a fairytale should rush for it. And anyone who wants a book to keep them laughing and smiling all through.


My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.

17/06/2015

Book View Plus INT. Giveaway: The Missing One by Lucy Atkins


Monday, you all saw my review of Lucy Atkins' debut, The Missing One, Here's a fun feature where I ask the lovely author questions concerning her debut's characters, scenes and everything her debut. READ to the end there might be a gift for you to unveil.






1.    1  Susannah was one of my favourite characters despite being the most deranged (and also oh-so-well-developed). Did you have any inspirations for her creating her character? (real-life or fictional).

She’s one of my favourite characters too. I have no idea where she  came from – there is no real life inspiration. I think that most of us have, at some point or other in our lives, come across difficult, complicated, dangerous women with powerful personalities. She’s a kind of essence of all that!

2.      2. Kali’s sense of motherhood was a striking feature in the novel. How she fought with the arch-villian to prevent the demise of her child was described so vividly. How did you manage to pull off this scene so well? Perhaps you put yourself your character’s shoes or you just watch too much Angelina Jolie flicks?

I am really interested in the power of maternal feelings. I was inspired in fact by a story I read in an American newspaper about a 19 year old singe mother of a baby who had fought off two big guys who broke into her house. The police officer in charge said ‘There’s nothing more dangerous than a mother protecting her child’ and that stuck with me. The lengths we’ll go to to protect our children can be almost superhuman (you hear stories of small women lifting trucks off a child who has been knocked down etc). That’s what I wanted to write about.

3.      3/ Still on motherhood, I find this title would be well-loved by all mothers (new or old). What type of mummy would you characterize your lead as? Is she a manic mummy who spends so much time noting details other mothers would otherwise have ignored? Or would you characterize her as an ignorant mummy. (Whatever your answer is, I’m hoping Susannah would agree).

When it comes to Kali, I think she is a fairly typical, stressed out mum of an active toddler – but her stress of course is made much worse by the fact that her life has collapsed, and she is in this alien place, with a dangerous person. And this is what drives her to make questionable decisions. When it comes to Kali’s mother, Elena, her mothering has been complicated and warped by her own history. She loves her daughter, but the complexity of her history, means she has a hard time showing it.

4.       4. What one tip do you think Kali would give to all mothers?

“Trust your instinct!”


5.     5.  Elena and Kali didn’t have the best mother-daughter relationship. What’s the best tip you would give to all daughters who have the same riotous relationships with their mothers?

Kali is determined not to make the mistakes her own mother made, and not to let the past influence how she mothers her own son. I think this is the strength in her (and also, in a sense, the weakness). She is determined to be a better mother, but of course, she can’t really escape her past, and the way she was mothered. So, where she gets to in the end is a deeper understanding of how her own mother shaped her. This will ultimately enable her to be a better mother to Finn, her son.  I think that’s what we all have to do in a way. By the way, my own mother – I’m very happy to say – was the best and most loving mother I could have wished for!

6.     6 I described your novel as very well-researched in my review. The information about killer whales was lovely to read about. What do you think humans could learn from Killer Whales?

Killer whales are matriarchal for a start!  They are also extremely loyal, with very strong family bonds (and they stay with their mothers for life). They have rituals and traditions and share ‘childcare’. There are numerous ways in which they seem extremely sensibly organized!

7.       7. Which character in your novel are you more likely to be?

I actually don’t feel as if I am any of the characters  - or maybe I am all of them. Even Kali is very different to me. 

8.      8.  Are you working on something new? Could you tell us what it’s about?

I have just finished my second novel, The Other Child, which is set in a suburb of Boston, USA, and is about the devastating secrets inside a marriage.
9.     
 9.  Is there any question you would have wanted me to ask?

Your questions were perfect! Really interesting – thank you so much for having me on your wonderful blog, and for supporting my writing. I hope you enjoy The Other Child as much as you liked The Missing One.



For further information, my website is www.lucyatkins.com

People can also follow me on twitter: @lucyatkins or  Facebook: Lucy Atkins Writer.

All the best

Lucy.

To see my review of the amazing The Missing One by Lucy Atkins, click here.

To purchase the amazing The Missing One by Lucy Atkins, click here.

To stand a chance of winning a paperback of Lucy Atkins' debut, RT this on twitter and follow the blog account: @kobbyreviews

16/06/2015

Book View+ INT. Giveaway: A Fifty-year Silence by Miranda Richmond Mouillot

                                                                         


              Miranda Richmond Mouillot


I reviewed Miranda Richmond's amazing A Fifty-Year Silence. Read this post as I ask questions concerning characters, scenes and everything the book. You should also enter the giveaway below to stand a chance of winning a paperback copy to sun-bathe with this summer.


I wonder what part your parents played in the story, could you say a little about this?

I have an unconventional family. My mother and father divorced when I was a small child and both remarried, and I have always considered myself as having four parents – all of whom I watched pursuing their own unusual careers and passions as I grew up. With this book, I guess I’d say they were supportive from afar: they taught me to read and research and follow my dreams from a young age, and then they sat back and let me do it. Many people have asked me about my mother, Anna and Armand’s daughter, and what role she played in the story. She helped me puzzle out as much as she could, but one of the reasons I ended up writing A Fifty-Year Silence was my curiosity about the fog of mystery in which she had grown up. She never even knew what year her parents had married!

How did your research into your family’s past affect your family life? Did your husband help in the process, or did he leave you to undergo this personal journey alone?
It certainly coloured every aspect of my life. My husband was very supportive throughout the process. He was a real rock to me in caring for my grandfather. But this was very much my story, and he is totally respectful of my creative process. I never show him my work, which he leaves me alone to do in the privacy of the office he built for me beneath our house.

Your grandmother’s strength (taking yoga to her old age) was inspiring to me. What do you think readers would love most about her which would have an impact on their lives (or at least in their old age)?

Well, if I had to impart just one lesson my grandmother taught me (and it’s hard to pick!) I would choose, “You just have to talk to people.” I learned from my grandmother that reaching out to others, asking them questions, offering them your friendship – it can change the course of your life, and theirs, in ways you could never even imagine. My grandmother’s ability to do that gave her a network of lifelong friends who loved her, and love, in the end, is all that matters. Love, hard work on something you’re passionate about, and plenty of garlic.

If your grandmother were to be alive what would she have loved and what would she dislike about the world now?
The same things she always loved – compassion and creativity (and coffee); and the same things she always disliked – cruelty and injustice. She was very open to change, loved to follow current events, and always had an opinion to offer about everything. I think she’d be delighted by the advance of marriage equality across Europe, and very concerned about the political shift to the extreme right.

Are you writing again? I’m eager to find out what you are working on next?
I certainly am! I am working on a book about brilliance, femininity, and why it’s so unseemly for an intellectual to pursue true love. I am also translating The Kites, the last and greatest novel of one of France’s most beloved 20th century writers, Romain Gary.


To Purchase A Fifty-Year Silence, click here.

To WIN A Paperback Copy of Miranda Richmond's A Fifty-Year Silence, in 48hrsRT and Follow on Twitter.

15/06/2015

Summer Book Review: The Missing One by Lucy Atkins



MY SYNOPSIS
Imagine This: Your relationship with your mother hasn’t been all braiding each other’s hair and slagging your father when he’s away for work (—normal daughters and mothers do this! Please review your relationships.). Growing up, both of you fought like crazy, made up like crazy, then within a few seconds were drawing battle lines again.

So when your mother dies, you are the least person to feel sorrow. You are the least person to rethink the happy moments with your mum. You are the last person to jet away to your mother’s past—which she has shut out to you all her life—to go find out why she was the woman you could never get on with. But you do.

Moments later, you are hightailing it to Canada in search of a best friend of your mum who’s been sending her cards a particular day every one of these thirty-eight years they split up without a reply. With your adorable toddler on your back, and a chance to ditch your husband who you’ve suddenly found out might be having extra-marital affairs, you get away from England.

Now your mother’s best friend is rather peculiar, never revealing much, withholding things about your mother’s past from you. Of course, you could consider the journey here all to be a waste and leave, but you feel this woman is hiding something about your mother’s past she doesn’t want to pass on, you have so many unanswered questions you want to see if you could use your skills as an interviewer to goad her into revealing.

Before you realize it’s really a waste to have come, and when you make a decision to leave, this woman has become preoccupied with your little son and has shocking extraordinary plans for him. Plans that would flare up all the maternal instincts in you such that you would do anything to protect your son from this bitch. Even if nothing helps.

Kali’s life-treacherous, suspenseful journey towards uncovering the secrets of her mother’s past summarised for your delight.

My REVIEW
This book is great. One that would consume your time this summer and totally-worth losing the hours for. So well-researched, so well-written, so highly thrilling!

First of all, I loved the storyline. I love the whole mother riding shotgun with her adorable infant to uncover the secrets of her mother’s past. Absolutely fab! You would never underestimate the lengths a mother would go to protect her own child after reading this. And you would adore the weaving of info about captured Killer Whales in parks that would struck an emotional nerve. A star to the storyline.

The main character, Kali, is damn right superb. I loved her to bits. You would also love Kali for worrying about essential details about parenting and mothering that most parents and mothers ignore, her constant eyes on her son, the little mistakes she berates herself daily for like feeding him with fries or not washing a sippy-cup before pouring warm milk in it. She’s the embodiment of a mother constantly looking out for her child even though she admits sometimes she does a shitty job at it. Plus her constant curiosity, making speculations and conclusions with the little info she has about the purpose of her ‘adventure’ makes this title suspenseful.── ★

Speaking on the element of suspense, mystery and the fear of the unknown, I can vouch that this book has all the above. Laden with so much suspense even when the main issue of the plot hasn’t kicked in yet (that is, mother’s best friend endangering her son) you would still find yourself sitting at the edge of your seat and mumbling to yourself, “What the hell.”── ★★

Other characters also make this book a plus as well. There’s Elena, the mother whose backstory is presented in third-person narrative during intervals of Kali’s first-person narrative. There’s Susannah, the once best friend of Elena who’s highly secretive and not giving much away… should I mention deranged too? Alice, the sister who always has a firm perspective of things with her job as a lawyer. There’s also Graham, Kali’s dad who’s also secretive as hell and hiding a chunk of his wife’s past from her daughter—a man who’s (in)actions gutted me so much. A star to these characters.── ★★★

There’s no denying I loved this book. But I found some back-story on Elena’s part unnecessary detail that slowed the pace of this book—some parts were intriguing and important to understand the psyche of a mother who never really showed that much love to her oldest daughter, others were just dragging the story and made me want to quickly get over with it so I could get into the current day life of Kali. Of course, if this book was less suspenseful, I’m not sure I would have been feeling this way, because there would be no eagerness to get on with Kali’s present.── ★★★★

So my rating is a four-point-five stars out of five (4.5 stars).

Lucy Atkins’ highly suspenseful debut (—yes! You heard right!—) which would keep you awake late in the night and wondering when sleep would ever claim you is available on amazon. I totally wouldn’t recommend this book if it didn’t give me headaches for lack of sleep.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants something laden with suspense, anyone who wants something to steal away the hours on a lounger and make tanning for hours seem endurable should get this. It’s the perfect summer read for anyone who wants to feel chilly in these burning hot temperatures.


My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.

Watch out for giveaway and questions and answers on this book with the author.



05/06/2015

Summer Book Review: Summer at the Shell Cottage by Lucy Diamond




MY SYNOPSIS
Imagine This: The summer holidays are approaching again. But this time around, things are not looking up like they were last year.

Your husband of twenty years is dead. There’s nothing you could do to keep the sorrows away. And not even a much-needed vacation at the Shell Cottage would help since all your most cherished memories with your husband and your two kids live in that house.

You have every right to pull back any plans for summer this year and sit at home and mope. Your daughter tells you a summer vacation would be ideal to help you recuperate, but you have a feeling they, your children, want to keep an eye on you as suicide could be one of the to-dos you’ve planned ahead for this summer.

Things with the other members of your family are not too good this year too. Besides grieving the loss of their hero, your daughter is facing problems juggling the kids and her stressful job as a GP, your son has a secret he cannot afford to disclose to you all.

Surely, summer 2015 at shell cottage wouldn’t be the best of family vacations. But chances are, if you do not pull yourself together and make this summer a memorable one, no one in the family would ever look up to summer at Shell Cottage ever again.
Olivia Tarrant’s story laden with drama, secrets and lots of reckless fun summarised for your delight.

MY REVIEW

Christ it was hard to put up that synopsis without bringing the spoilers and the numerous omg moments right at the start of this title. So for starters, I’m giving the OMG moments in this title a star.── ★

I liked this book.

The storyline was nothing short of Lucy Diamond’s excellence. Telling the stories of one family’s summer after the death of a man they are not sure they could live without. All the characters face individual and joint challenges in making this summer one of the best summers of their lives in the memory of their father and husband. Nothing like an amazing family read full of drama.── ★★

I loved the main characters. Olivia Tarrant, the grieving wife who’s finding it hard to move on after her husband’s death, encounters a friend who will change the idea of a summer vacation for her forever. It’s all about being fun, reckless, and carefree even after sixty! Freya Tarrant, the daughter who’s finding it difficult juggling her three rowdy kids with her super-challenging job and a husband who’s never around would also be admired. Harriet Tarrant-Price, the single-mother who’s had enough of cheating men and is sure is living the dream this time around with a husband who’s landed a huge book deal.── ★★★

Other characters make reading this novel great as well. My very favourite, Gloria, a sixty-year old widow who’s not stopped grieving as well as skinny-dipping. Molly, the teenage daughter of Harriet who’s taking her chance on being a woman this summer. There’s also Libby, Teddy, and Dexter the annoying yet adorable children of Freya with their hilarious peculiar traits. A star to them.── ★★★★

I liked this book. But I wished I could have loved, loved it. I wished it was as fast-paced as Lucy Diamond’s previous, The Year of Taking Chances.

So my rating is a four out of five stars. (4/5 stars).

Lucy Diamond’s amazing latest is available on amazon.

I recommend this to anyone who wants a soothing family vacation read to cosy up to 
this summer. I recommend this to anyone who wants a book with laughing moments and very relatable moments too. I recommend this to anyone who’s a Lucy Diamond fan as she doesn’t disappoint in this title too. It’s all about being fun, reckless and creating a new you this summer!


My work not done. Off to post my review on Goodreads.